There are a few reasons why, even if we keep rescue hens, we should still not take their eggs.
Most modern breeds of laying hen now have been selectively bred to lay many more eggs than they would have done traditionally; and this takes its toll on their bodies. If you think about it, there’s a reason why eggs are regarded as being highly nutritious. Eggs need to be packed with nutrients in order to give baby chicks everything they need to grow, and this usually comes at a cost to the hen’s personal wellbeing. Given the opportunity, and sometimes a little assistance for hens who’ve been debeaked and are used to having their eggs taken away, most hens will happily eat their own eggs. Eating their own eggs, this helps to replenish the nutrients they lose each time they lay. You can see some rescue hens enjoying their own eggs here.
Another thing to consider is that it can be quite stressful for hens to have their eggs taken away from them. It takes quite a lot of work just to lay one egg, and hens can get very distressed when we take them away. You can read more about this here.
Even if some hens don’t wish to eat their own eggs, and don’t appear to be concerned by us taking their eggs, there are still plenty of reasons why we still should not eat them. One of these reasons is that when we use eggs as food ourselves, we are reinforcing the idea of eggs as food in other people’s minds. After all, if somebody calls himself or herself a vegan yet eats eggs, it’s going to confuse people and make them think that if a vegan is willing to eat eggs, it must not be a problem to consider eggs as food.
This is a problem because so long as people think of eggs as food, hens will continue to be exploited. As chickens are one of the most exploited animals on the face of the earth, we really should be doing everything we can to avoid contributing to that exploitation – whether directly or indirectly. One of the best ways to help end the exploitation is to show people it’s easy to live without using eggs. We certainly have no nutritional need for them and there are vegan alternatives to pretty much every kind of egg use you can think of.
Other Myths about hens and their eggs: